Project Description


ALCOA Substation Upgrade
Messena, NY

Since August of 2019, CDI Engineering Solutions has been supporting Alcoa’s Power Generation, Inc. (APGI) subsidiary at their Knoxville, TN, and Massena, NY, facilities. Aluminum smelting requires huge amounts of electricity and Alcoa has a whole subsidiary company focused on power generation to meet its needs, with interests in three major hydroelectric dams in North America.

APGI is upgrading its 115kV substation at the Alcoa Massena site along with its interconnections to HydroQuebec and National Grid transmission lines to support a capacity of 258 MVA for the plant. The Massena plant, located in far northern New York on the St. Lawrence River, is home to the oldest continuously operating aluminum smelter in the world, plus mills producing aluminum rod, billet, sow and castings.

CDI’s lead office for our Alcoa alliance is West Virginia, which has completed front end loading on this project. Geotechnical and soil resistivity studies are being provided from our L.R. Kimball group in Ebensburg. See photos above and to the right of our drilling experts in action at the site, carefully following CDI COVID-19 safety precautions!

Remarkably, this project is a first (at least in recent history) – a true Engineer/Procure/Construct (EPC) contract where CDI will be responsible for construction as well as engineering and procurement. In this case, BHI Energy (an AEI portfolio company like us) will be the procurement and construction contractor. Scheduled completion is March of 2021.


  • Power Engineering
  • Geotechnical Services